tv NBC Nightly News NBC September 5, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
from charlotte, as president obama arrives here for this convention, the weather forces a big change of plans. but tonight's main attraction, former president bill clinton. the speech he says has kept him up at night. tonight we'll talk to him exclusively about the stakes, the speech, and the president. >> i'm actually more enthusiastic about him than i was four years ago when i said i thought he was ready to be president. also the first lady on making it work as a mom in the white house. and a major breakthrough being reported from the world of health and science that could change the way we view our health for all time. change the way we view our health for all time. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. as night two of the democratic convention is now under way, and this has now become the second convention this season to be heavily affected by weather. as you recall, the republicans lost an entire night to that passing hurricane. and now, based on the threat of severe weather here in charlotte tomorrow, the democrats are scrapping their big night in the outdoor stadium, moving everything in here instead despite having given out more than 60,000 tickets for that venue. president obama arrived here in charlotte this afternoon. he was held up by weather. tonight's big event here is a first. a former president placing the name of the president for the nomination. before we get to members of our political team who are standing by tonight, we want to begin with what happened just a few
hours ago, a very revealing interview with bill clinton who left his hotel suite to come talk to us, then returned to his room to continue working on the speech. he said this speech has kept him up at night. he's more worried about this than any other he's given in a long while e called it the first of a new era because he's had to go through and remove anything super pacs could use in commercials out of context against him, against president obama. but he said he also has to guard against what he called, quote, turning the talk into mush, a hot aired, gas bag, rhetoric filled talk. we talked about the advanced expectations for this speech tonight. >> i know you read everything, and i know you see everything. there's so much that's been written and said about your relationship with the president, the new yorker, no one would argue these guys are good friends. some would argue the object sit.
marreen dodd, it's not a bromance. it's a transaction. how would you describe your relationship with president obama? >> i think it's quite good actually. it's candid. it's open. we haven't been close friends for a long time or anything like that, but he knows that i support him. i feel more -- i keep reading all this stuff about the enthusiasm gap. i get that. the real world is hard. it's harder to do than the talk but i'm actually more enthusiastic about him than i was four years ago when i said i thought he was ready to be president. because i've seen him dig in the dirt and fight for change. i've seen him make things happen. i've seen him criticizes, demonize, knock down. i've seen him dealing with things for the first time he never dealt with before, learn
and keep coming. so i respect him. i think he should be re-elected. and i'm very grateful also, just as a person, for the way he and hillary have interreacted. he's treated her with enormous respect. he's respected her opinion. he's run a national security operation that's been really good for this country, i think. so i think, you know, i would say our relationship is good. it is from my point of view not a transaction or a bromance or any of that sort of stuff. there's a few people that have been presidents. he's the first democrat to serve since i left office. he's had a very tough hand to play. i think he's made a good job of a bad situation. people don't feel it yet, but they are going to benefit from it if they stay with him. and i believe that.
so i think a lot of the sort of back news things is just talk. i like him. i have a lot of respect for him, and i talk to him when i need to. but mostly i wait until he wants to talk to me, because i believe i should respect the fact that you have one president at a time. he's got a lot more important things to do than chew the fact with me. >> cover of "newsweek," why barack needs bill. why do you think barack needs bill? what do you have to offer? >> i don't know. i've always been mystified by that. i was honored when he asked me to nominate him. i hope what i can do, because we did have a good economy, because we did have the longest expansion in history, is explain why i think his approach is right and it will pay off if we renew his contract, explain why the economy he faced was much weaker and different than the
one i faced, so that there's no way any president -- no president -- could have restored it to full health in just four years. >> there is a column out there today saying you could help two democrats tonight if you do well, president obama and hillary rodham clinton in 2016. >> you know, we're not kids anymore. i don't have any idea if she'll ever run again. she says she won't. right now i want to help him because i think it will help my country. >> secretary of state, by the way, is traveling tonight, is in china. part of our conversation with tonight's headliner bill clinton a short time ago here in charlotte. now, as for the news of this convention, as we mentioned, it's the weather forceing a change of venue. new plans for closing night when the president was scheduled to speak in front of about 65,000 people in an outdoor stadium. nbc's andrea mitchell down by
the podium for us tonight. andrea, good evening. >> good evening, brian. campaign officials did not want to pull the plug. but in a close race they couldn't take the chance of endangering thousands of people by stranding them in the middle of a storm. with thunderstorms drenching charlotte all week, democrats waited until the last possible moment before finally lowering the flags and striking the set for tomorrow's supersized finale. >> there's a chang chance for thunderstorms and there will be on thursday. any time there are thunderstorms, no place outside is safe. >> i think first of all, people understand. we don't want people to be hurt. we don't want them out in the thunder and lightning and rain. >> reporter: republicans immediately said the event was downgraded due to lack of enthusiasm. but there was no shortage of enthusiasm here last night. the campaign says 65,000 people had lined up to get tickets, 19,000 more wait listed. the plan was to talk to all of them in line.
a massive registration drive in a critical battleground state. now the fallback plan is a call and video from the president and a return visit before election day. >> i was really looking forward to this. i got my tickets. i was so excited. i waited four hours in line for it to be denied. >> it's the weather. what are we supposed to do, control the weather? democrats are powerful. come on, there's a limit. >> the rain, wherever they have to move him to, let him just know this, we got his back. >> reporter: the outdoor rally was supposed to recreate the excitement of denver four years ago surrounding the president with cheering supporters and fireworks. now they don't have time to organize a balloon drop, the big finish at political conventions. the challenge now for the campaign is to create the excitement for the president's speech when he comes here tomorrow night in this much smaller arena before a much smaller crowd while still battling the perception that he is getting less enthusiastic support from voters than he did
four years ago when he first ran. >> brought back flashbacks of that night we almost lost you amid the balloons on the convention floor. >> the balloons. >> andrea, thanks. there was actual news made today having to do with the platform. for a lot of delegates they were still talking about the big start for the democrats in the arena last night. chuck todd was on the floor with us last night for all of it. his position approximates that of bill clinton, straddling new york and arkansas i told chuck. >> reporter: that's right. democrats feel really good about how night one went. now a whole bunch of complications. we already know about the weather and venue change. then this issue in the platform, even tonight's featured speaker bill clinton has a complication. he's up against the nfl. the president's arrival in charlotte was delayed today by the same weather that forced organizers to move his acceptance speech inside. then late this afternoon,
delegates reacted angrily. when the obama campaign forced the convention to restore an endorsement of jerusalem as israel's capital and add references to god back in the party's platform. omissions which republicans had seized on and attacked overnight. still delegates did spend most of the day basking in the after glow of last night's rousing convention kickoff. >> after so many struggles and triumphs and moments that have tested my husband in ways i never could have imagined, i have seen firsthand that being president doesn't change who you are -- >> reporter: culminating with first lady michelle obama's address where she played the role of cheap character witness. >> because barack knows what it means when a family struggles. he knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. >> reporter: though her speech was less partisan than most and didn't mention mitt romney by name, the contrast she drew was clear. >> reporter: because for barack, success isn't about how much
money you make. it's about the difference you make in people's lives. >> perhaps the most fiery speaker tuesday night was the massachusetts governor who succeeded romney. >> he talks about the things he's fixed i can tell you massachusetts was not one of them. >> reporter: even a tribute video dedicated to the late ted kennedy featured partisan meat featuring the romney attack in the senate race. >> i am pro-choice. my opponent is multiple choice. >> reporter: four years ago they deemphasized abortion differences. >> we believe a woman considering an abortion should not be forced to have an ultrasound against her will. >> reporter: last night was also about speaking to another part of the obama coalition, latinos. the san antonio mayor julian
castro introduced by his brother joaquin. >> my mother fought hard so instead of holding a mop, i could hold this microphone. >> reporter: his daughter almost stole the show. despite bill clinton, two other interesting speakers to keep an eye on tonight, massachusetts democratic senate candidate elizabeth warren and former republican governor of florida charlie crist. >> chuck todd down on the floor for us. chuck, thanks. with us in the booth, moderator of "meet the press," david gregory. let's talk about bill clinton. >> that was interesting. particularly in the quiet moments. you've covered him at the white house. you've seen him for years. this is not a close relationship the president has with this president and you still see that coming through but they have turned a corner. a top obama adviser said to me, look, bill clinton is the closer when it comes to the economic message. he needs -- this president needs the former president to deliver a message to independent voters,
voters who might be softly committed to obama on the economy and the context for how obama came in office. >> will be an interesting night here for these delegates and the television audience. david gregory here with us. we want to let you know mitt romney will appear exclusively on "meet the press" this sunday morning. his first appearance of this election cycle. coming up sunday morning on this very same nbc station. we also want to let you know, we will talk with michelle obama, the first lady, tomorrow evening here on "nbc nightly news." in other news we have a new hurricane as of today, number six of the season already. leslie has been upgraded to hurricane status. sustained winds of 75 miles an hour. the storm is still pretty far out there to sea but expected to pass fairly close to bermuda by saturday or sunday of this weekend. we got new numbers tonight for what's been a particularly bad year for west nile virus, the
mosqui mosquito born illness that can be fatal. just under 2,000 reported, 87 have been fatal. it's a banner year for mosquitoes. the experts say there will probably be new cases right through the month of october. still ahead as we continue from charlotte, the discovery they are saying could revolutionize how we treat, how we even prevent diseases like alzheimer's and cancer. and later as the obama girls get ready to come here to charlotte for their dad's big speech, the growing up they have done in just four year's time. b. i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that means...fish on! symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
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>> reporter: it's as though after decades of looking at the darkness of space, a fantastic new telescope has revealed new galaxies, allowing us to see millions of undiscovered planets. this is not about outerspace. it's biology, genes, our cells. >> this is the first comprehensive look at how the human genome, that dna instruction book inside of all our cells actually carries out functions. >> reporter: until now scientists have only concentrated on a small percent of genes. they call it junk dna, not understanding its purpose. today's discovery shows the so-called junk contains millions of switches that turn on and off other genes. >> i don't think it's junk anymore. i think it's actually -- in a sense it's the gems of the genome or most valuable parts of the genome. >> reporter: the new way of looking at human genome or our dna, to determine a newborn's eye color, height and diseases
later in life ranging from alzheimer's to heart conditions. it will also give scientist as new road map to find treatments for those and hundreds of other diseases. the research also solves a great mystery in biology, how we humans are so different from other animals when we share many of the same genes. no one can predict when the new understanding will lead to better treatment and cures for disease. but in the history of biology, the understanding of our selves, scientists see this as a revolutionary moment. robert bazell, nbc news, new york. up next here tonight, an election night celebration in canada turns dangerous while viewers watch on television not quite knowing what was happening.
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into something of an unknown. but we do know this, as of today, u.s. astronaut son it, a williams is the new holder for space walks. she's logged over 40 hours outside the vehicle. next week we'll talk to her on "nbc nightly news," part of an interview with the current crew of the international space station. when we come back in charlotte, completing the portrait of the first family that is front and center at this gathering of democrats. a status report on those obama daughters. i stepped on the machine, and it showed me the pressure points on my feet and exactly where i needed more support. then, i got my number. my tired, achy feet affected my whole life. until i found my number. i tried the free dr. scholl's foot mapping center. in two minutes, i got my foot map and custom number. i'm a 440. that matched up to the dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic inserts with the right support and cushioning i need. i am a believer. i'm a believer! i'm a believer. go to drscholls.com to find your closest walmart with a foot mapping center.
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sasha will be here in charlotte tomorrow night to see their dad's big speech. they have to go to school first because there's no skipping just because your dad is accepting his party's presidential nomination. like all kids you don't see that often, when you see them now, everyone has the exact same reaction, how did they get so big so fast. our report tonight from nbc's kristen welker. >> hi, daddy. >> reporter: sasha and malia were so young, seven and ten when we first met them, going into the very adult world of politics. their parents have doubts.
>> how will we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight. >> reporter: after a grueling campaign, president elect obama publicly made amends. >> you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the white house. >> reporter: a promise the president kept for these two little girls who became part of an elite group that knows what it's like to grow up behind these white walls. >> it's harder to raise kids normal in the white house nowadays because the spotlight is so much more burning than it was even 10 or 20 years ago. >> reporter: over four years they have seen america and traveled the world. but for the most part, we got rare glimpses. and we have heard from them even less. in fact, the obamas expressed regret after allowing their daughters to talk to "access hollywood" in 2008. >> you know, he likes to get attention. just coming in and sitting on his lap. >> reporter: but kids can be powerful and humanizing tools for any candidate. the obamas have mentioned their
girls frequently during the campaign, and they played a starring role in mrs. obama's speech here in charlotte last night. >> my most important title is still mom in chief. >> the president has attractive children, he would be crazy not to let them be seen. at the same time that will always bring charges from some that the kids are being politically exploited. >> reporter: malia is 14 now. she started high school this week. at 11, sasha isn't far behind. but the obama girls most valuable education by far has come at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. kristen welker, nbc news, charlotte, north carolina. >> and on that note, that is our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. one more note about tonight. we will not have our usual prime time coverage tonight because of that nfl season premier. msnbc, of course, will offer complete coverage, complete coverage on your late local news. we'll see you from here during
halftime of the game. tomorrow night we'll be on here with two hours of convention coverage in prime time. so i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night for now from here tomorrow evening. good night for now from charlotte. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com